Theatre in Schools Scotland (TISS) is delighted to be presenting a new creative programme for Scotland’s schools and nurseries in 2021/22. While its live touring theatre and dance productions have been off the road, TISS has been exploring exciting new ways of working with teachers and schools and these hybrid creative approaches continue into next year. The new TISS programme integrates live performance with digital interactions from Scottish performing companies and artists, ensuring TISS can continue to provide regular high quality creative experiences for pupils across Scotland.
TISS’s new programme includes - a creative playground experience, immersive video installation, a new touring theatre production, internationally acclaimed dance performance and is, for the first time, touring a performance created for pupils with additional support needs – a comical dance show performed through a window.
Anna Derricourt, TISS producer said: “We are in awe of the way Scottish schools have navigated the last years and have enjoyed finding new ways to work together. Last year we live streamed performers into classrooms, provided schools with online festive shows and supported teachers to lead amazing creative projects. TISS learnt and shared a lot and, as we move through another school year, will continue to create and support rewarding links between schools and Scotland’s theatre and dance sector.”
- Mixed Up by Katy Wilson, commissioned by Starcatchers and Imaginate, is an energetic teacher-led creative experience for playgrounds and classrooms exploring the mixed-up feelings that children have been experiencing during turbulent times. Using a series of films, it offers hip-hop dance, beatboxing, street art and a box full of surprise resources delivered to schools. Mixed Up the film was presented to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and a live version was presented in schools as part of Edinburgh International Festival’s Play on Stages programme. Mixed Up is touring in the autumn (nursery to Primary 3).
- Family Portrait presented by Barrowland Ballet, co-created by Natasha Gilmore and Robbie Synge, is an immersive video installation capturing Natasha and her children in an intimate portrayal of family life. Surrounded by four screens, school audiences watch the family through choreographed sequences and candid ‘off camera’ moments. The installation shares a humorous yet honest depiction of family life and a post-show workshop explores elements of nature seen in the work. Family Portrait was part of this year’s Take Me Somewhere Festival and Edinburgh International Children’s Festival and will tour in autumn 2021 and spring 2022 (P2 - P5).
- Lightning Ridge is a new show for schools created by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company for pupils in P5 - P7 in spring 2022. Keen Scottish podcaster and international newshound Jo Jones is obsessed by the story of two lost invisible friends in Lightning Ridge, Australia. This solo performance invites pupils to take part in Jo’s live recording investigating the story of Lightning Ridge while also investigating the power of imagination, the strength of community and the importance of believing in something that doesn’t exist (yet).
- Buff and Sheen is a comical roaming dance performance about two imaginative window cleaners presented by MoonSlide. Buff and Sheen’s novelty, absurdist and slapstick humour tickles audiences of all ages. Children particularly enjoy interacting with the performers through a closed window, joining in with dance moves and laughing at the general shenanigans up close, from the comfort and safety of the classroom. The show will be touring in spring 2022 to schools for pupils with additional support needs.
- Chalk About presented by Curious Seed is a playful, funny and sometimes moving look at how we see ourselves and others featuring dance, chalk, chat and one perfect scene containing everything you could wish for. Conceived and created by Christine Devaney and Leandro Kees (Performing Group, DE) and commissioned by Imaginate, Chalk About has been performed worldwide at festivals and venues. Originally scheduled to tour into schools in 2020, TISS is delighted to be able to share this joyful and thought-provoking live show with pupils in P5 - P7 in autumn 2022.
TISS is also introducing a series of bespoke Meet the Creative online events for teachers. Hosted by Theatre in Schools Scotland, these events are an ideal opportunity for teachers to find out more about the performance from the creators and to meet and share ideas.
Theatre in Schools Scotland is produced by Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland to develop the provision of theatre and dance performances available for schools to host for their pupils. The annual touring programme is informed by teachers and features Scottish performing companies and artists specialising in theatre and dance for young people. Productions are designed specifically with schools in mind and are suitable for classes from Nursery to P7. The programme is year-round and is available throughout Scotland. Bookings are subsidised and TISS works with schools, local authorities, regional promoters, venues and touring networks to develop sustainable partnerships.
TISS has been liaising with schools and partners to ensure the return of its touring productions to schools is as safe as possible. The programme will develop and expand accordingly throughout the year ahead, responding to school requirements and opportunities.